Thursday, July 02, 2009

Horse crazy

I'm sure that a few of you were shaking your heads a few weeks ago when I announced here that I had bought a new horse. With our already nutty schedules, what in the heck was I thinking? Well........I gotta tell ya.......I'm loving every minute of being back in the horse world. I had forgotten just how much I enjoyed every aspect of horse ownership and I am soaking it all up.
Truth be told, being a Mom of 4 kids is wonderful, but its easy to lose a bit of myself, when my life focuses around them. And simply put, in order to spend time with my family, I've learned to enjoy some of their hobbies, but had lost my own passion in the process. I play golf, which I enjoy, but its not a passion. We showed the dogs for awhile but, once again, it wasn't a passion. I love watching my children participate in football, basketball, track, wrestling, ballet, and all of their other myriad events. But none of them are MY passion. Horses is definitely MY passion.

Yodi is living at a boarding stable about 6 miles from our home. The stable is owned and operated by a dressage trainer, and the majority of the horses there are warmblood hunters and dressage horses. Counting Yodi, there are 12 horses at the moment, but that number will climb in the fall, as several of the boarders return when the weather gets wet. There is a large indoor arena, 20+ large box stalls, a variety of turn-outs, and all the other amenities that go with a riding stable.

As for Yodi, he's a good-looking bay quarter horse gelding with a small white snip on his forehead and one white foot. At a solid 15.2 hands, he's pretty big, but manages to look "average" next to the gigantic warmblood hunters in the barn. Quiet enough for the girls to handle easily, he's knowledgeable enough that he provides me with a challenge as well. Tiersten rode for quite a while in the arena last night, and is gaining confidence. Of course, Jen (with her lack of personal safety awareness) thinks she is ready for Grand Prix and would willingly hit a jumping course with no clue that she's not ready for that. (See why we needed a quiet horse with some knowledge?) I've been constantly testing limits with him, just because I want to know exactly how deep his abilities run. So far........I've done a ton of flatwork, had him out on trails and over wood and steel bridges, and he's met every challenge with ease. His only glitch involved a sideways jump when a napping herd of elk suddenly stood up about 20 feet from us. It scared me, too, and we made a unanimous decision to quietly head back the way we'd come. After years past dealing with young horses lacking experience, its nice to be able to just saddle up and go.

So.........while adding a horse to the menagerie might seem like an odd choice, its also tremendously therapeutic. I'm getting to enjoy something that I really love, Jennica is getting to participate firsthand in an event strongly recommended by her occupational therapist (riding therapy a.k.a. "hippotherapy" is HUGE for kids with SPD), and Tiersten is enjoying it, too. I had forgotten how great horse manure smells and how wonderful hay feels in my bra. :)

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